Roads and Motorways

Syracuse – Gela Motorway (Italy)

Roads and Motorways Motorways

Syracuse – Gela Motorway (Italy)

The Syracuse - Gela motorway (131 km) is an important link in the national and regional road network, promoting the economic development of eastern Sicily (tourism, agriculture and the mining industry) as well as offering a rapid outlet for the industrial centres of Syracuse, Ragusa and Gela. 

The original design was drawn up by TECHNITAL in the years 1970-73 but construction was interrupted in 1975 because of the freezing of financing in the motorway sector. As a result of this interruption, only the first two lots of the motorway (i.e. the 9.5 km section Syracuse-Cassibile) were completed. Funds became available again for the financing of the Syracuse-Gela motorway in 1998.

Due to the long lapse between the approval of the original design in 1973 and the resumption of the project in 1998, TECHNITAL was charged with the complete revision of the project in conformity with new legislation, standards and techniques. 

TECHNITAL’s contract concerns the Detailed Design not only of the various motorway lots but also of the motorway exits and toll-gates with the related buildings and offices, parking and maintenance facilities, lighting, ventilation and telecontrol installations.  In relation to all these works, TECHNITAL is also responsible for the preparation of the Tender Documents and Construction Supervision.

Environmental Impact Assessment 

The new legislation and standards necessitated the execution of an Environmental Impact Assessment Study for the entire motorway. This study was not approved until 2001. The new construction technologies and standards called for the complete re-design of the motorway, which thanks to the EIA must also guarantee the utmost respect for the environment and optimize the environmental placement of the infrastructures, the motorway alignment was changed considerably. 

Main structures 

The design of Syracuse-Gela Motorway required particular attention not only on account of the high landscape/environmental value of the territory crossed, but also for its location in a high earthquake risk zone. Special care was therefore taken in the design of the structures. 

In particular, lighter long-span viaducts (45-95 m) have been adopted, the reduced number of piers also facilitating the crossing of difficult terrain.

All together the motorway will have 15 viaducts for a total length of 6,600 m - among which Scardina (629 m), Salvia (1530 m), Ippari (413 m), Dirillo 1 (992 m), Dirillo 2 (722 m), Valle Torta (575 m) and Priolo (575 m), as well as 44 overpasses and numerous minor bridges. 

The motorway alignment also includes 17 double-barrel tunnels for a total length of 16,700 m. Almost all of them are over 500 m long. 

The main tunnels are Mandriavecchia (916 m), Scicli (1,430 m), Cozzo Truncafila (1,000 m), Caddame (2,130 m), Occhipinti (1,968 m), Miccichè (1,502), Giumente (1,448 m), Pian del Lupo (1,117 m), and Panzanelle (965 m).

The situation of the motorway today is as follows:

  • completed and open to traffic: 9.5 km (lots 1-2 from Syracuse to Cassibile)
  • nearing completion: 30,5 km (lots 3-4-5)
  • contracted out: 20 km (lots 6-7-8)
  • in approval phase 11 km (lot 9)
  • under design review: 60 km (lots 10-15 up to Gela).

Motorway characteristics:

  • total length: 131 km
  • design speed: 110-140 km
  • lanes  (per carriageway): n° 2 plus emergency - stopping lane
  • width of lanes: 3.75 m - (3 m emergency lane)
  • width of median strip: 4 m
  • total width of road formation: 27 m
  • interchanges: n° 13
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Sicilian Motorways Consortium (Messina) for ANAS (State Highway Authority)


Sicily, Italy


Detailed Design, EIA; Tender Documents; Works Supervision

Cost of works

Euro 1,634,000,000

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